Faroe Islands notebook

Friends of Contrarian know that in recent years I’ve had several occasions to visit the Faroe Islands, a quirky beautiful demi-country* located halfway between Iceland and Scotland. If you sliced Gros Morne National Park into 18 pieces and plunked them into the North Atlantic, you’d have a pretty good facsimile.

With barely 49,000 people, the Faroes don’t often hit the news, so my ears tend to perk up when they do. A piece by BBC travel writer Tim Ecott on the network’s website offers a charming nugget. While sailing from the Faroese capital of Torshavn to the island of Nolsoy, Ecott was struck by the plump Northern Fulmars that flew alongside. A crew member named Joel explained:

They follow the fishing boats, so close you can just reach out and grab them. They’re delicious, but I won’t be catching any this summer. When you grab them they have a tendency to vomit—and they carry bacteria that are dangerous for pregnant women. And my girlfriend is expecting a baby.

Wrote Ecott: “It is the kind of thing people in Faroes need to know.”

* The Faroes are a largely autonomous protectorate of Denmark.

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